At some point all of us go through a time of feeling lonely. You can be in a crowd of people and feel lonely. You find ways to isolate and turn down invitations because you know you will be lonely anyway and not feel like you fit in. You may go to work but are more likely to go home alone after to just be alone because it is easier or safer. Every one has done this at one point in their lives. It is when it becomes more of a habit or a way of life that it can actually become unbearable and filled with such sorrow and heartache. The desire for
connection and love yet the complete isolation takes away any hope for that. Even though you may lonely, you are not alone and it is not hopeless.
What do you do? It sounds pretty hopeless at this point. Plus lets add in fear of failure, fear of ever fitting in and maybe a sprinkle of not good enough and we have a recipe for loneliness, despair and self hatred that can just fester and boil up. It does not have to be this way. No matter if it is just a whiff of lonely, hopeless or complete isolation, there are some steps to help you find more connection. Before any of these steps will work, you need to commit to make yourself do at least one. Just thinking about doing them will not really make a difference!
5 Steps to Not Be Lonely
Don’t get stuck. It is easy to get stuck in life routines. So if you are isolating, it is easy and may feel very safe to continue to do that. The problem is the world does not always come to you; you need to open the door and step out first. One of the reasons that you feel lonely is that you probably think about it all the time. Many people just sit there and think about how lonely they are and have nothing to do. If this is what you are doing, nothing will change. Get up and open that door to doing something new and different.
- Do an activity. Especially one where you can mix in with other people. Check out community activities, join a book club, or take a class on something that interests you at the community center or college. There are places to join clubs on line also. One of my favorites I send my clients to is MeetUp.com. They have groups for almost every interest you can think of. You can join others for game nights, movie viewing, knitting and so much more. Today it is so much easier to connect with others. Pick something you will enjoy and go do it!
- Volunteer. It has been said that you can’t be depressed when you are of service to another. That is because you are not thinking about yourself but someone else. One of the best ways to forget about your own misery is to do things for others. Check out the local hospital or nursing home for volunteer opportunities or if you like animals, at the local shelter.
- Explore online communities. Now this may not be as good as getting out and mixing with other people, but it will give you interaction with others. There are online game communities, groups online of similar interests, social sites and so much more. Online communities might be the way to ease yourself back into the world.
- Adopt a pet. This is only if you are ready to make a commitment to the life of the pet. Pets give companionship, unconditional love and have been shown to help ease depression. If you are not ready to adopt a pet, spend some time volunteering at the local pet shelter and play with the pets there. Pets are amazing in how they can help lift your spirits.
It is up to you to make the first step to opening your door to the world. You can start small and just open it a little, but you need to start if you want to let in companionship and love. Sign up for the free jumpstart session at the top of this post. It is a free conversation that can give you some tips and ideas so that you can move forward quicker.
Remember that everyone gets lonely at some point it is all part of being human.